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James Makin

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  • Location
    Worthing, West Sussex
  • Interests
    Music, modelling and fast Fords!

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  1. Thanks very much! I know what you mean about the Accurascale 37, that looks like it’s going to be a game changer when it arrives! I wouldn’t mind some big O gauge locos for the mantlepiece however, a nice original sector ‘60’ would be delicious! My current modelling time frame is 1998-2002, my formative trainspotting years in Oxfordshire, which was an incredible time of change, on the freight side you saw wrecks from the BR days mingling with brand new EWS Class 66s fresh off the boat. There really was such a variety of liveries about - the Platform 5 spotting books of the era will give the full run-down but it’s breathtaking! Over on the passenger side, liveries ranged from the outgoing Intercity Swallow merging into a rainbow of fresh privatised colours, Virgin’s red takeover while Great Western couldn’t seem to make its mind up on colours, some things never change! I’ve also modelled later periods for other layouts, many years ago I modelled “modern image” bang-up-to-date 2005 with Wells Green TMD, a party piece included the very first models of the Network Rail Class 86/9 Loadbanks, just as the yellow dried on the prototypes!! But it was too much hassle keeping up to date and gradually I looked back to my early youth! EWS’s infamous 2004 switch-off cull took out a huge swath of the remaining favourites, and I started to lose interest in the prototype in favour of other interests for a few years. I like keeping track of the current scene now but it doesn’t quite make me want to model it! Being super cruel, we’re seeing a huge amount of random grey space-age multiple units replacing trains I’d grown up with and on the freight side, the magazines are full of a very small pool of celebrity heritage locos being papped to death, you see the same ones each month, and even the remaining maroon Class 66s are now faded with DB stickers all over them! The Electrostar EMU models on these pages are later period additions for Worthing MRC’s Loftus Road specifically, but other than that, everything you see on these Workbench pages fit in the glorious 1998-02 era! There’s still copies of the magazines of the time on eBay, RAIL and Rail Express for example, to give a feel of the period! I think it’s perhaps just as diverse as the classic BR 1960s steam/diesel transition era and should go down in history as a golden period to model ! Cheers, James
  2. Definitely the way to go! I had some fun modelling some abandoned sidings on my old Wells Green depot layout, and lifted rails with sleepers still buried in the weed infested ballast! On Worthing MRC’s Loftus Road we thought it’d be fun to replicate the simplified trackwork and abandoned platform at Kenny ‘O’, the old disused platform has weeds growing through the tarmac and in front is the new replacement platform over the trackbed of the old lifted track, further down the line is some leftover disconnected track hiding in the undergrowth...certainly adds some extra character! PS loved watching your layout at Warley, beautifully done and the looming grey blocks of flats at the back really helped set the scene! Cheers, James
  3. I’d reckon the timing also plays a part - Hornby released 90037 in Trainload Distribution/Speedlink many years ago, it was in the early 90s catalogues and then again in the early 2000s, so by the time the Bachmann model came along it was long out of circulation and no longer relevant, same as when Bachmann recently did Belgian 90128 for the Collectors club, Hornby did that as a general release some years before in the early 2000s as well. I don’t think Bachmann care about repeating previous manufacturer releases as say, Hattons might on their 66s! It may be that Bachmann will choose a Malcolm 90 in the future but quite how long you’ll have to wait is anyone’s guess, I’d even say that the very next batch of normal 90s could even be 1-2 years off delivery as a starter, going by how often you see deliveries of other classes (such as 47s) in new liveries! I’d reckon your best bet for now is either some DIY/custom decals for Malcolm livery on the Bachmann 90, or take a Hornby body, detail and mate up to a Bachmann chassis for a hybrid spectacular one! Cheers, James
  4. Let’s hope they don’t skimp on the pantograph this time around and re-use the terrible Class 87 pan! It emphasises the ‘that’ll do’ attitude in an ever-more challenging marketplace where Bachmann and Accurascale are going the extra length to please customers, so fingers crossed! The rendering above looks superb so far, one would think they’d make a song and dance if they did have a genuinely good pantograph lined up, so it’s a little worrying at this stage! Hopefully the Hornby staff that occasionally pop up in other threads will read this and take note please too..! To convey in a language they understand (steam locos!), developing an AC electric without a decently-sprung pantograph in 2020 is like producing your new Hush Hush with poseable plastic non moving valve gear, i.e. kind of important to enthusiasts who like using the product for which it was intended! Hornby managed decently-sprung metal pantographs in the 1980s, so given 30+ years have passed, be great if they can push their R&D team to truly impress us to show that Hornby are still a key player in D&E modelling before they gradually lose their crown to all the newcomers and innovators...setting the challenge guys, come and step up to the plate!
  5. Nice livery list, can add 90040 in EWS to that too, it was one of my favs just due to the unusual nameplate positioning! I modelled it as part of my large fleet of old Hornby 90s for my Wells Green TMD some 15yrs ago now...tempted to recreate the fleet in Bachmann locos but it’d cost a couple of big ones these days, eek!
  6. One would imagine it might be a while before there’s news to share there, I can visualise emails flying back and forwards between Hornby and suppliers, teams doing costings of replacement bodies, meetings over who’s to blame and who’s going to pay for it, which cost centres it’ll be absorbed by, legal teams going through warranties with the Factory and so on, then add Christmas holidays into the mix where most UK office staff would bin this off for some festive fun with their families, know I certainly would in their shoes! Then the PR contacts wanting to put out a message but being put on hold as there’s no concrete info to share...just my speculation based on very similar experiences I’ve encountered in a different industry!
  7. Loving the Dutch 31 with headcode box, that’ll be useful for a good few renumbers! The cheesy graffiti Trainload Coal HAA amused though, the markings look like something from the Brady Bunch Happy to offer my services to Hornby as ‘graffiti consultant’ for 2021... Overall, looks a cracking set of releases and let’s hope Cavalex aren’t too exposed with the 91 for all their good work pushing the hobby forward so far Cheers, James
  8. Hopefully! Much as I’d love to I’ve not the time to volunteer though, but if anyone needs, old-school Rail Express has all the answers, and oodles of multicolour nostalgia! Cheers, James
  9. Same as above for GNER and Midland Mainline, as per the 1999 issues of Rail Express magazine (available as back issues from all good stockists on eBay if needed!) GNER Midland Mainline Of course happy to take down if it infringes any forum rules, just seemed a shame keeping all the old dusty magazine info to myself when it may help some others! Hope this helps, James
  10. Hopefully it may be of interest and it’s ok to reproduce, these 1999 HST formations were listed in Rail Express magazine if the time, and include the buffet car numbers as above, extremely useful for modellers of the period like me, hope this helps! First Great Western Virgin Cross Country
  11. I’m waiting on the EWS 66005 (sound one) when they come out and going to renumber, I’d bargained on stripping off both the lettering and numbers for consistency and replacing the lot with some Modelmaster versions - it’ll be very interesting to see if my usual Humbrol enamel thinners will strip the branding without going through the paint. The Bachmann EWS ones were hit and miss (later ones are easy!) so if Hattons can deliver on a clean renumbering process as well as the detail improvements, then that’ll be the final icing on the cake! Cheers, James
  12. Haha yes! It’s mainly as about 18 months back I formed a grand plan, listing out every Bachmann 37 in the collection and details on nose types, grilles and so on, to work out the master plan of which locos I can model depending on what I can swap between the different locos, effectively a big pool of 37s spares swapping between each one to make the 37 Frankenstein’s! Most of the plan has worked out fortunately, though there’s a few more complex 37s coming in the next batch that didn’t make it in time for the last one! Thats a good point, I’ve never really listed what goes on inside! Each loco gets a cab weathering, the back cab plate and interior are treated to a paint-on/wipe-off of dark grey, drivers are repositioned to my ‘favourite’ end of going forwards (with coupling hoop at opposite end) and the driver repainted into more modern appearance with hi vis jacket etcs! Each loco is chipped up with the cheap Hattons decoder 8 or 21 pin direct (sound doesn’t seem value to money for me for the few days a year these actually run at a show!) and the DCC cab lighting circuit boards are ripped out to prevent anyone accidentally turning them on during running on Loftus Road at a show (my pet hate!) Finally, some black electrical tape is run down the inside of the windows to completely blank off any interior view and the locos screwed back together again! Cheers, James
  13. Last, but hopefully not least in the Class 37 run is a pair of 'Heavyweights'! 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37799 and 37890 join the fleet in Transrail and Mainline liveries respectively, not especially glamorous but no-nonsense workhorses captured in their final glory days before being usurped by more modern traction. The starting point in both cases was the Bachmann 'Conidae' release in Petroleum... 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Most notably for me, these were among the first Bachmann 37s I bought new that were breaking the magic £100 barrier - chunky money, but cheap in comparison now! The branding was stripped off, and satisfyingly the newer Bachmann printing literally peels away with a splash of enamel thinners, a real treat to watch! 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Next, the locos were modified and detail changes made where needed - 37890 needed new ends, new roof and roof horns installed, while 37799 was a simple renumber... 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Both locos were painted up and then gloss varnished, ready for transfer application. 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Classic Alphabeat is very much the recommended go-to soundtrack for Heavyweight 37s. After transfer application, the bodies were given a coat of Railmatch matt varnish and left to harden for a month before weathering began. This included my usual trick of paint-on/wipe-off coatings of various light browns and darker greys, matching to prototype photos of the late 1990s. 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr After this, the fun could be had then in starting to pick out the tiny rust patches and bolt-hole marks from previous depot plaques for example. 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr Finally, the models were reassembled and subjected to an airbrush weathering, Phoenix Paint's track dirt, brake dust, roof dirt, dirty black and lastly a coating of my dark navy blue for the roof exhaust weathering. 37799 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37799 Sir Dyfed / County of Dyfed has long been a favourite - it starred in a number of RAIL Magazine pictures in the late 90s and so then finally seeing the loco sealed the deal, and it's place in the collection at long last! 37799 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37799 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr There's something that just looks very 'right' about the splitbox refurbished ends, really appealing, to me at least! 37799 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37799 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr And along comes 37890! 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr 37890 The Railway Observer was among several other Heavyweights that are among my 'to-model' listing, looking a little worse for wear than 37799, with a number of bodyside rust patches and about to lose its RCTS plaques that accompanied the Railway Observer nameplate. 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr I bought the nameplates from Fox Transfers, but they don't supply the RCTS plaques with it, so I ended up making them from the spare plaques that came unwanted with previous loco 47348 (St. Christopher's Railway Home) and repainting a few letters to replicate 37890's plaques...the golden rule being never to throw something away! 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr I love modelling the weathering marks left behind after the depot plaques are removed..! 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr As always, it's great to bring back some past loves that are now gone...37890 eeked out a good career as part of EWS' Sandite fleet into the 2000s, before finally meeting it's maker in 2010. 37799, meanwhile, lead an even more interesting life after EWS usage, being shipped out to Spain as part of the GIF contract and gaining a bright blue livery for it's holiday in the sun. However like all good holidays, they soon come to an end...sadly 37799 was never to return to the UK and was scrapped in Spain in 2011. 37799 and 37890 by James Makin by James Makin - Account 2, on Flickr It's been huge fun modelling all these Class 37s, and there are plenty more on the workbench right now to follow later in 2020 - watch this space! Cheers, James
  14. Thanks very much Dave! With the weathering, definitely patience is the key! The photos make it look quick but it’s all about adding layers on top of each other, including the paint drying time of 24hrs+ so it’ll take a good week or more to do a container, a little bit at a time basically! With the paint-on/wipe-off technique in particular, if you go too quick you’ll accidentally strip off the previous layer if the paint hasn’t hardened if the new layer is done too soon! I tend to weather several similar things at the same time otherwise you do, say a wash for about 10 mins one night and then have nothing else to do for another day or so!! The rusty browns on this one were applied with paintbrush - the ones on the sides were painted on & wiped off, while the ones down the corners etc were applied with a tiny ‘00000’ brush, starting with the lightest brown and feathering on what might look like the rain watermarks left from a rust patch, and then using darker brown colours to go over the top and build up the actual rust patch itself, with the darkest shades at the epicentre of the rust! It helps also to find pics of rust and see how it blooms, either on container and then just whip out the tiny brushes! Cheers, James
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